Ross Brawn, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Brawn: Mercedes need to improve race pace

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Ross Brawn, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013In the round-up: Ross Brawn says the W04 has good one-lap pace but needs to improve its performance over a race stint.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Brawn: Mercedes not there yet (Sky)

“It’s not down to one lap. What we have to have is a car that is fastest over 50-odd laps, and that’s the challenge.”

Bernie confirms Long Beach talks (ESPN)

“We are not in deep discussions with Long Beach but we have spoken to them.”

Horner denies Marko is a hindrance (Autosport)

“Helmut has responsibilities elsewhere with the young-driver programme but he has no operational responsibility or input into how we operate as a racing team. He’s an advisor to Dietrich [Mateschitz], and he’s obviously an experienced hand.”

Back to Spain (Ferrari)

Fernando Alonso: “The wins at Barcelona in 2006, Monza in 2010 and Valencia last year are unquestionably the races that have given me the best emotions of my career.”

James Calado taken on by Massa?s manager (James Allen on F1)

“Rising star James Calado?s chances of making the move up to Formula 1 have been boosted by a deal to be managed by Nicolas Todt, whose All Road Management group manages Felipe Massa, Pastor Maldonado and Jules Bianchi.”

Racing “DNA”… Diversity Needs Acceptance (The Buxton Blog)

“If we are discussing why there haven?t been more women racers in F1, I started to wonder why we haven?t yet, at least to my knowledge, encountered many, if any openly gay racing drivers in our field?”


Comment of the day

If F1 does end up back at Long Beach, @Atticus-2 hopes they don’t spoil the track:

I think the organisers did a tremendous job in 1999 and 2000, when they last altered the layout. I identify four “points of interest” on the original, much loved layout, plus one on the current one. I think the original course was loved principally because of the following:
?ǣ The iconic hairpins at either ends of Shoreline Drive;
?ǣ Original turn two (now turn six), a wide, surprisingly quick, increasing radius and slightly uphill left-hander;
?ǣ The wild elevation change of about 8-11m when they climbed the hill going straight instead of turning right to East Seaside Way and their subsequent intense drop at Cook?s corner;
?ǣ The quick, douple-apex penultimate corner.

On the current layout, my guess is that the fountain in the roundabout already gained legendary status as scenery despite its relatively young age as part of the track.

What I really liked about the 1999-2000 changes was how the organisers brought back two of the four aforementioned points plus how they introduced the new one.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ivan!

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On this day in F1

Patrick Tambay won the San Marino Grand Prix after Riccardo Patrese crashed out of the lead moments after overtaking him:

95 comments on “Brawn: Mercedes need to improve race pace”

  1. F1 coming back to Long Beach is, for once, a location I would welcome very much! Who cares about Russia, Mexico, South Africa or Thailand?

    1. @wallbreaker I care very much about the former two as Russia is the largest country in the world (so F1 is right to try and establish itself there) and Mexico has a racing heritage, with two of it’s drivers currently racing. Also, if they do indeed race on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez it is a very good track, with a prime location in the heart of Mexcio City, one of the most populous cities in the world.

      Even South Africa would be okay but agreed Thailand I couldn’t give a toss about! Nor Qatar or Bahrain or to a lesser extent Abu Dhabi, countries that lack racing heritage and a major fanbase. It’s all about the money though…

      1. Russia is only biggest by land area, and 99% of that is empty.

        1. @ajokay of course, but it still has a large population and is a global superpower. @coefficient I think you’re still living in the 1940’s mate!

          1. The economical potential of Russia is often largely overestimated. Exactly because of its historical influence in the region (as Soviet Union mostly) and some arrogant loud-mouthed individuals with “old” money.

            To compare countries like Russia with emerging Asian countries is ignorant at best. Even the size of markets of individual Western countries (Germany, France etc.) are much bigger than that of Russia.
            But the size of markets it emerging Asian countries, India and China to name the biggest two, are much bigger still. Many of their neighbors have even bigger markets when compered to the size of population. And the most important thing, they are growing at a wast rate, while the old markets are not.

            The same simultaneous sub-continental economic growth could happen in Africa, and many are predicting, as the evidence suggests, that it will.

            What this means? This means that most of the Asia is already caught up with the western world (in terms of economy, technology, quality of life and so on). And some are even already surpassed that standards set by the West. Don’t forget that USA is constantly borrowing money from China, the country that has grown its technology and economy at the speed of sound in recent decades or years even.

            So I would say your views are not just ignorant and non informed, but ill-informed with preconceived ideas.
            Here is a good conciseness raiser about how the world looks (Note that the speech is from 2006, and Asia has not stood still in the years that has fallowed):

            Just because you have been born and raised in your bubble, does not mean there are not much more individuals who like to watch racing or take part in it elsewhere in the world, to whom you can not relate, because of your ignorance.

            Sure, I can not dismiss the point, that a certain sport should not go to certain places because one does not care about them, but if so, do not call it a world championship or a pinnacle of anything.

            If F1 would have stayed on only the historic tracks, it would have or would become exactly that, another type of historic racing series, with few spectators, and no real innovation or large sponsorship.

            As a fan of Motorsport, I would not be against such series, but all children are not equal. I would most enjoy and pay attention (almost only) to the racing series that would have or would replace F1 as the global, ultimate, fastest circuit racers.

          2. @Max Jacobson Global superpower? I think you’re still living in the 80s mate! ;)

          3. @alec-glen I wasn’t living in the 80’s mate, I was born in the 90’s! ;)

            @mateuss irrespective of the fact growing markets (which have F1 races themselves) in China and India have easily surpassed Russia at this point in time, that does not mean the quality of life in those countries is better.

            By “developed” I mean a country with economic power absolutely, but they have to have a high living standard also which is a far cry from what India and China are at the moment. In that sense, I would still say the west is ahead.

            That’s not really why I think countries should have races though, I think it should be down to motorsport heritage. Does anybody have any ideas if Russia has any sort of F1 following?

          4. @vettel1 That is a false logic. Every single person in one country does not live in the same conditions. There are more people living in high standards of life quality in China than there is almost anywhere else (just because of the overall population size), yes, reasonable percentage of people still live in villages and of those many do not enjoy high living standards, but the percentage of those people have shrunken at the unprecedented rates that is what growth means. Go visit and travel across China, before you make assumptions based on single story of nation of one billion people.

            A girl from South Africa(I think) went to study to the USA in one of the big universities there. One of her professors had read a book about a mean who beats his wife written by an author from the same country as she is. He said to her something along the lines:”Isn’t it a shame that African men beat their wife s?” This of course is a stupid assumption so she retorted “I just read the American Psycho, Isn’t it a shame that all young American men are serial killers?”

            Don’t make the same mistake by basing your opinion of billions of Asian people based on “one story” you have heard and seen.

          5. I do apologize for my incoherent language :/

            If there only were an edit button.

          6. @mateuss I’m not basing this assertion on some isolated story, I am basing it on the United Nations Human Development Index, in which Russia ranks 55th and China only 101st, India only 136th (link).

            They absolutely have greater riches and larger economies, but the basic quality of life is lower in both of them than Russia and so I consider them less developed.

            Anyway, this is a wild tangent from the initial point that F1 is better to establish itself in Russia than a lot of other places in the world, in which I include Thailand and Bahrain. That said though, I did also ask the question of what Russia’s F1 following is like, considering Vitaly Petrov was their first driver…

    2. I care about South Africa! Living in Angola, South Africa is 3 days away by car (terrific trip, by the way) and 3 hours by flight!

    3. South Africa has a lot of F1 fans, and it does have a historic F1 connection.

    4. I care about South Africa. I live in Namibia and it would be nice having a more accessible GP to go to. We have a lot of F1 fans here and we would love to be able to see a race live instead of just on the tv. Which we never received free on air I might add…

  2. thatscienceguy
    1st May 2013, 0:38

    Long Beach is only 3.2km in its current form. Is there a mininmum track length for FIA Grade 1 certification? If so, expect it to be altered considerably….

    1. If Bernie wants it, Bernie gets it. And Bernie wants more F1 in the US.

      1. I think 2 races is good. 3 sounds too much.

    2. Not all that much shorter than Monaco (which is about 3.3km)

      1. Monaco could be even shorte, narrower and more boring, but Bernie / FIA / FOM etc would not move it just because they love its “glamour”.
        If Monaco disappeared, Webber would be really angry.

    3. They would need to lengthen it by around 320m to meet the FIA’s minimum length for F1 tracks.

      1. Is that just for new tracks? What about returning ones?

  3. i hope f1 stays away from long beach!

    i’ve been going to the cart/champcar & now indycar races there since 1991. Tickets prices have always been reasonable & the fan access to the teams/drivers second to none & more importantly i’ve always had a blast at each race & seen some great racing.

    f1 would bring higher prices & restricted fan access, not to mention they would almost certainly butcher the track to make it ‘suitable’ for f1.

  4. What Brawn says is just so obvious. I don’t know why that car turns out to be so good in qualifying , just to have lots of problems in the race.
    Looks like Mercedes bosses don’t know what’s wrong either.

    1. pipe and slippers for Sherlock Brawn

      1. I came here just to post “In other news, Ross Brawn has determined that water is wet, the sky is blue and the reason “only on days that end in Y” is funny is because they all do.” i.e, stuff that’s been obvious to the rest of us for years.

        1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
          1st May 2013, 6:24

          years? so you thought at the end of 2012 the whole of 2011 and 2010 that mercedes had good qualifying pace?

    2. @omarr-pepper well what I’ve read is that Mercedes have a clever (but tricky) interconnected suspension, that basically keeps the car more leveled when braking and turning, thus affecting less the aerodynamics of the car.

      But at the expense of a much smaller setup window because is not as easy as just changing some springs and dampers like in a normal car. Obviously the car tends to heat the tyres faster which is good for one quick lap but not over 10 or 15.

    3. Yes it’s obvious, but it’s also obviously an answer to an interview question. Why do people get so upset with the interviewee instead of the interviewer? I can imagine that Ross Brawn is getting pretty fed up with being asked the same questions over and over.

  5. why we haven’t yet, at least to my knowledge, encountered many, if any openly gay racing drivers in our field?

    I’m starting to wonder about Lewis and Nando!

    Jokes aside, different people are … different. I know quite a few gays, and they’re not big into competitive sports.

    1. Justin (@thejwooly)
      1st May 2013, 2:05

      Carefully consider what you just said. That last part….as surely if I’m on this site I am into competitive sports.

    2. I do not think that word means what you think it means… lol

      1. The majority of the F1 field is gay* though.

        *Gay meaning “happy” in this context

          1. kenneth Ntulume
            2nd May 2013, 10:57

            Its pretty likely, that people that happen to be gay, are not likely to be “petrol-heads”. Gays are likely to be busy Keeping Up with the Kardashians, type of stuff…
            Motor sport is biased towards macho fellas………. this is purely psychographics.

          2. You mean petrol heads cannot be happy?

          3. Kenneth Ntulume
            2nd May 2013, 13:19

            @ Bascb
            I pose a rhetorical question,
            What has happiness got to do with it?

          4. Kenneth, If you noticed what @David-A wrote, the post I reacted to, he mentions the F1 field being gay as in happy.

    3. Actually it seems like todays brand of F1 would lend itself well to the stereotypical homosexual male. Good communicators, sensitive touch, good multitaskers.. Especially in comparison to the more burly men required to wrestle a death trap around the track, depending on pure balls and determination back in the 50s say..
      Possibly a gross generalization on both counts (gays and F1) but I do see a trend. Perhaps this also explains Moss’s comments, he comes from a different sport not suitable for women or even the more sensitive man.

      1. Traverse (@)
        1st May 2013, 12:33

        That is too assume that gay men are limp wristed and afraid of spiders, whilst straight men are burly, Bear eating, Alligator wrestling warriors. An assumption which is clearly not based entirely on reality.

        1. @hellotraverse I did say it was a “gross generalization”. I didn’t say that gay men were “limp wristed and afraid of spiders”. I was just pointing to the fact that F1 now requires a different skill set. If there was a spectrum covering attributes held by a stereotypical gay man and a stereotypical straight man, the skillset required would be shifting towards that of the stereotypical gay man IMO.
          I don’t think I’m not being non- PC in saying this as I’m stating that these are stereotypes which may weaken the argument but still suggests a trend.
          For the record I like the class of driver required today and would welcome anyone capable of driving fast to join the sport no matter what sex, sexuality, race etc.

    4. Traverse (@)
      1st May 2013, 12:23

      Lewis definitely enjoyed spraying Graham Norton with *ahem* “Champagne” on his chat show last week…just saying ;)

    5. Britney Spears?

      [Wait, who cares?]

  6. Seems like a ludicrously loaded question to even ask Horner if Marko is a “hindrance”.

    Can you imagine a reporter asking Horner if Webber is a hindrance, and then reporting “Horner denies Webber is a hindrance”?

    1. I actually could…

      1. Interesting clip, thanks. Though I have to point out that the question came from a member of the audience and not from a member of the press. If F1 fans rather than F1 reporters got to ask the questions, we’d see some very different questions being asked. The F1 press seem to have a pack mentality – they all think pretty much alike. There is much more diversity of thought and opinion among fans.

  7. I don’t get how you can have all those brains and resources and still design a car that lunches it’s tyres.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      1st May 2013, 3:35


    2. All the cars lunch their tyres, the key thing is how much perfomance they can get compared to lunching them. Clearly Merc get lots of performance whilst lunching them whereas Red Bull can get slightly less performance whilst only snacking on rubber.

      Maybe for them it’s about setup windows, they’re likely setting their car up to get performance despite races being completed at GP2 pace, Red Bull clearly think there’s more performance in their car which they’re not being allowed to extract as they’re compromising their setup to minimise tyre wear.

  8. @Will Buxton, Does that go for F1 journalist as well?

    Wait a minute… there was Jean Girard! ;)

  9. On This Day in F1 surprisingly didn’t include Roland Ratzenberger’s death at Imola in 1994, which I am fairly certain was today. Tomorrow… well…

    1. On this day in F1

      Roland Ratzenberger lost his life in a crash during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on this day in 1994.

      there u go, it was on 30th April

      1. !!! I forgot that you Brits live in the fuuuuutuuuuure… Mea culpa!

        Just an American here, so 8 hours ago…

        1. Anyway they didn’t mention Ayrton’s death on May 1st, 1994.
          So it looks like @hwkii really said a truth. You live in the future, and Ayrton, sad for us, is part of the past.

    2. @hwkii It was in yesterday’s round-up

    3. @hwkii @kcarrey @omarr-pepper @tdog As I write this there’s a mention for Senna in the strapline at the top of the home page, and it’s also on the F1 Fanatic Twitter, Facebook and Google+ presences.

      I don’t want “On this day” to turn into a register of driver deaths which is why I vary what goes in there.

      Next year will be the 20th anniversary of Senna’s death and you count on it getting a more prominent mention then.

        1. Traverse (@)
          1st May 2013, 16:11

          You so crazy!! ;)

      1. Keith, I hope you weren’t taking what I wrote as a criticism, I was just genuinely surprised and it was made worse by the fact that you’re a third of a day head of me, bring West Coast USA.

        And I completely understand not wanting On This Day to turn in to the obituary section.

  10. Abdurahman (@)
    1st May 2013, 3:01

    To the COTD, yeah, but what about what I thought was the most iconic corner besides the end of straight hairpin. What happened to the downhill right left where the cars would be on full opposite lock over the crest??

    1. I believe that would be Cook’s corner I mentioned. At least the downhill right-hander. One of the point (of the two) which is still missing.

      It situates north of the current back straight at the end of the Ocean Blvd. From the track’s inception in 1975 to 1981, the cars would not turn right to East Seaside Way as they do now, but head straight on, up a hill and then turn right to Ocean Blvd. Obviously, at the end of that straight they had to descend, and they did so near nowaday’s T9 with the downhill right-left flick you mentioned.

      It was reeally challenging, I’d like to see it back. What gives me hope – besides the persistent rumours and Bernie’s sort of confirmation of initial talks – is how smart the organisers were with the latest modifications – if you check maps of the course, it deviated considerably from the original concept; it was almost totally different in the 1980s and the 1990s.

      I don’t usually like street tracks, I think they could easily become just a couple of 90-degree corners, but I checked out this year’s IndyCar and ALMS races at Long Beach and the track became an instant favourite for me.

      1. Abdurahman (@)
        1st May 2013, 8:57

        thanks for the info. where can I see previous layouts?

        1. No problem. :)

          This was my primary source, when I got acquainted with the circuit. It includes a picture of all the layout changes during the years. Very detailed and spot on article.

        2. @abdurahman (which hasn’t been updated for several years now but it still a goldmine for motor racing circuit layout information) has all the configurations here:

  11. That cut from Buxton’s blog is just shows the ridicule of our current society. Sorry, I did not read his whole peace, I get frustrated with humanity just thinking about the topic.

    I understand, that certain people plainly lack knowledge and experience for some things to be obvious (or to get to a certain conclusions) to them, but when it’s that type of people and their narrow minded pre-sets that navigate public opinion, it’s just sad.

    Apart from apparent lack of statistical representation of women/gay/aliens etc… that GREATLY squash any chance of having representation of “such kind” in F1, there are no barriers that hinder that persons way into F1. There is actually is a GREATER chance for such person to enter F1 due to lack of representation and all the marketing circus demand if one poses the appropriate level of skill behind the F1 car.

    Why it winds me up? Well, do you think it’s only Vettel’s dad who had to fully commit to his son’s racing to give him a shot. Or it’s just Raikkonen’s family who had to work together for their son to get a chance to show his qualities? What about Hamilton? There are ten of thousands of families who go through such and greater sacrifices, but just very few go all the way.

    The topic of discussion should not be “Why there no woman/gay/whatever in F1″, it’s a from ground up issue. One gets go-kart at age of five, other a barbie doll. Now how many parents will choose to gift their daughter a go-kart at five instead of cute dress or a doll? Same reason why most boys get a gun as present rather than chemistry kit or a telescope.

    This is out of control really, here in Australia there is a 50% quota on how many female representative there should be in certain departments of mining Corporations, with enrolment for that degree ratio one girl for every boy. Go figure.

    ps. sorry for rant.

    1. *with enrolment ratio for that degree one girl for every 10 boys.

    2. I Love the Pope
      1st May 2013, 3:24


    3. Actually is quite the point you are making. In my country new legislation says there has to be 1 to 1 ratio of women on public charges, but heck, why a woman should get to ocuppy a public charge just because is a woman? She should be there because she is capable of doing good for the ountry

      In order to be equals I shouldn´t be reminded every two days that there is no woman in F1, if a woman gets there should be because she deserve ir, not because Saba wants to sponsor Sauber.

      As for gay drivers, WHY WOULD I CARE who a driver is dating? I understand why some figure public need to come out, but I believe that everything it shouldn´t made a different because at the end of the day what it matters is results and talent, not that is gay, woman, black, white, chinese or alien.

      Having said that I believe Paul Di Resta is doing great representing the robot population :P

      1. Agree. It’s illogical: people want everybody to be treated equal and if that’s the case they’re saying they’re missing certain groups.

        I thought that sex, religion, race or whatever should’nt be a point. So why argue?


      2. I’m not a fan of ‘positive discrimination.’ It’s still discrimination!

      3. Has there ever been a gay F1 driver??

    4. Im getting pretty tired of this whole equality thing. We dont have a problem with it so I do wish people would stop banging on about it.

    5. It’s a modern day issue that many sportsmen and women have to ‘come out publicly’ because a) there are many close-minded nations, some of which berate homosexuality and/or condemn it and b) there are PR considerations.

      Would a top ‘insert sport here’ team pick an openly gay athelete regardless of talent if it just means all the articles written about said driver reference the fact, draw attention to it and attract flamebait from the dregs of human society who are (fundamentally) scared of it?

      Sportsmen and women who consider themselves LGBT are basically forced to remain in the closet for their careers – the majority who come out are either at the end of their careers (as I understand Jason Collins is) or Gareth Thomas, who was a national rugby player (and you don’t argue with rugby players).

    6. In the long run, forcing equality will not work. But stereotypes and paradigms aren’t broken by things remaining the same and sometimes have to be forced.

      Surely you can question ‘why would you pick ‘x’ over a someone who happens to be a white male’, but in a lot of fields diversity has been ‘forced’ into the workplace and usually took a couple of years to really reap the benefits. As much as we might be open to a lesbian muslim feminist entering F1 and being successful, she might not think of F1 as being a place for her. Sometimes, all it takes is a single rolemodel to open the floodgates for others.

      I’m not at all saying driver quality should be overlooked, but we might have to sacrifice some positions to female, homosexual, whatever kind of driver who might be less skilled than their white male counterparts, and end up with those people inspiring more people to go into racing.

      As always, I’m going to mention Beitske Visser. She won a race at Zandvoort in Formel ADAC with a broken back and she finished in the points at Hockenheim with a broken wrist. She’s been picked up by Red Bull, and virtually everyone who’s into karting in the Netherlands regards her, Nyck de Vries and Max Verstappen as our biggest talents. She defeated the boys, she has shown to be tough and has shown to be able to race and win. That’s the kind of female driver we need, but they’re rare as of now.

      I think that, all it takes will be one or two successful female drivers in F1 for sponsors to open up to them, for parents to consider karting as a sport for their young girls, etc. The Netherlands for instance had F1 drivers before, but Jos Verstappen basically inspired a whole generation of drivers who might have never surpassed FR2.0 or 3.5, with Giedo van der Garde as a notable exception. Jos Verstappen was a national hero, but Christiaan Albers and Robert Doornbos never has the same effect. If a successful female driver would have the same effect on F1 fans and their daughters, we’d see a major shift in a few years in karting and lower categories.

  12. Good to see Calado get backing from Nicolas Todt. He joins Pastor Maldonado, Felipe Massa, Jules Bianchi, Alex Baron(Formula Renault 2.0) and Charles Leclerc(karting) in the All Road Management squad.

    In related news, 2011 Formula Renault UK champion and lat year’s Macau GP 3rd place-finisher Alex Lynn has managed to get backing from Alexander Wurz’s management company. Lynn finished 4th in last year’s British F3, and this year is in European F3 with Prema. I know it is early days, but I hope Wurz’s involvement leads to a Williams test or something.

  13. That was a truly great drive by Rosberg at Monaco

  14. On this day in F1, the best of the bests dies in a terrible accident in Imola.

    1. That’s a relative question.
      He for sure branded a generation with he’s driving skills, with he’s personality inside and outside the tracks.
      Senna was for me the reason why i started watching F1. Saw great fights between Ayrton, Prost, Piquet, Mansel, Schumacher etc…
      Remember he’s off tracks fights with Balastre.
      And have in mind is most perfect lap, at Donigton Park when with rain he came’s from 5th to 1st in one lap.
      I miss you Senna, we all do in general.

      1. i meant his not is, sorry

  15. Wow, thank you very very much for the COTD, @keithcollantine, I didn’t expect it, so it’s kind of surprising. Also, it is my first one, so this is a great feeling.

  16. Wait… We’re now expecting 3 races in USA in the near future? I’ve said this before, F1 should not have more than 1 race in a country each year. It’s bad enough USA will end up with 2 tracks next year, I couldn’t understand why they’d do that.

    Next year we have Russia and New Jersey coming in, that brings the calendar up to 21 (assuming we don’t drop any of this year’s). Thailand appear to have a track lined up, Argentina and Mexico have said they are looking at possibilities. France are the only ones who have seemingly backed out of an F1 deal, with their only option being to alternate with another track (possibly Spa, I don’t see why it couldn’t be Hungary)

    I only see F1 moving to a track rotation basis pretty soon. At least that way the groups could be set so that we only have 1 race in the USA each year.

    1. Abdurahman (@)
      1st May 2013, 9:04

      Why not have two races in the USA per season? If you look at population and landmass the country certainly deserves it on that merit! haha (ah, but then so would China as well)

      I can’t figure out what is going on with our French brothers in getting F1 back there. I was watching the highlights from the 1980 season the other day and I believe there was at least SIX French drivers! And at least two full French teams competing. Where have they all gone? Besides our beloved Charles and Romain of course.

      And if we don’t get a proper Yank in a F1 car soon, it is just pathetic. Daly is looking like a pretty sure bet thankfully but we will see.

      1. And India…

      2. Besides our beloved Charles and Romain of course.

        I believe Bianchi is the one to watch. Pic’s only there as long as the money lasts and Romain is certainly struggling a bit this year, be it because of his indiscretions last year or because he has a baby on the way.

      3. @abdurahman

        If you look at population and landmass

        Then why has countries like Hungary, Austria and Turkey had races whilst India, Russia and China haven’t? (Okay, China have had one for a few years, but India’s is only a few years old, and Russia might have to wait till 2015).
        Germany, Britain and Japan have all been able to run F1 races on a circuit rotation basis in the past, and Spain looks like they’re about to implement one for the future between Valencia and Barcelona. USA have had one race in the past 6 years, and now they’re looking to have 3 races.


        Americans have many series well established (IRL /Cart, Nascar, 24 hours endurance in different circuits)

        So why do they need 3 F1 races? 1, I can understand, and the Austin track produced a good race last year, even if the leader won on DRS. America has several fast motor-racing series, it doesn’t need to take F1 by storm…

    2. @keeleyobsessed @abdurahman I think it’s not only for “population mass”, but for racing history. Americans have many series well established (IRL /Cart, Nascar, 24 hours endurance in different circuits) and even when F1 is a lot different than “oval racing”, they can get used to the new gadgets: DRS, KERS, the ones we as “traditional” fans don’t like at all. When Americans know F1 cars come with “TURBO button” KERS, probably they will compare it to their beloved “Fast and Furious” films (which personally I disllike so much)

  17. I see on the BBC that Dietrich Mateschitz is wingeing again about the tyres, a not too subtle attempt to put more pressure on the tyre makers. RED BULL, give it a rest and get on with the racing. Its the same for everyone, to try and change the playing field part way through the season isnt going to help anyone except you.

  18. Its the same for everyone

    The tyres are the same, what’s not the same is how long they last. And in that case it has to be review, because no one can build a new car and then hope the tyres will fit, that’s just ridiculous

  19. I’m gay and I’m happy to belong to the F1 fans’ community. Once I used to think that almost all F1 fans were macho men but I have realised that the picture is not as simple. I have met other gay and bisexual F1 fans on F1 Fanatic and on Twitter and last year I watched the Italian Grand Prix together with a 70-year old lady, a passionate fan of Raikkonen.

    For sure, my sexuality impacts the way I see the world and the way I see F1 and the drivers. But I watch F1 because I love the cars, the on-track battles, the emotions, the atmosphere in the stands and on F1F, the smell of fuel and the sound of engines. I certainly prefer talking about Pirelli tyres and DRS over discussing Max Chilton’s body shape.

    I think gay drivers feel more or less the same way. They don’t reveal their sexuality because of many reasons but I’m pretty sure that one of them is that they don’t want to be seen as “the gay ones” because their sexuality is not even among the top 10 in their list of priorities when they are on the track.

    Still, they shouldn’t have to hide it either. For instance, if some driver has a boyfriend, he should feel free to take him to the team garage, tell that on Twitter and post pictures of them both together as Hamilton or Chilton do it with their girlfriends. That’s the only thing I would like to see change in this aspect. Other than that, I have nothing against the fact that F1 is and remains a sport for ‘real men’.

    1. Fair play and great comment. I think it’s unfortunate that while rights for gay people have come a long way in many countries in the past 20 years,(though still not far enough) if a gay driver were to come out publicly, then they would unfortunately just be seen as ‘the gay one’ to a majority, regardless of their on track merits. Homosexuality in sport is still something seen as unusual and almost scandalous, look at the reaction to the NBA player that came out this week, or the Italian football coaches comments on the issue during the Euros last year.

      At the end of the day does a fan’s or driver’s sexual orientation matter? Not one bit. And yet it does, for entirely unimportant reasons.

    2. Well said! @girts.
      I’m not sure if you have ‘declared’ here before, but welcome out.

    3. @girts with the world moving towards accepting gays (even Obama supports LGBT), I dont think how orientation would matter in F1

  20. On the face of it, it should be a simple issue, but when you look in detail you see that homosexuality for any global sport is a very complex issue.

    Let’s start by putting aside any ridiculous notions about gay men being universally effeminate; it simply isn’t the case. Many gay men are far more masculine than your average straight man. If masculinity were a pre-requisite for motor racing success (which I’m not convinced about, but anyway..) then this would certainly be no barrier to gay men competing. Or women, but let’s not worry about that one for the moment.

    I’d like to imagine that here in the UK, being openly gay would be no hindrance to a successful motorsport career. Aside from a few pockets of old fashioned prejudice, homosexuality is accepted as a normal part of our society, and one which isn’t seen as an issue at all. However, Formula 1 is a global sport, and one which relies on the investment of enormous sums of money from sponsors, each of which have a vested interest in the various markets in the countries where races are hosted, and where F1 is shown. Sadly, while I certainly don’t think that the UK (and by extension most of Europe and the majority of North America) is unusual in the way that the LGBT community is seen, it would be naïve to think that this wouldn’t be an issue in other parts of the world. Particularly the Arab countries where a strong religious tradition dictates that homosexuality = bad. The reaction to a an openly gay driver in these countries could be disastrous, to the point where sponsors could consider pulling out, and even TV stations may have issues with broadcasting.

    I’ve never been at all comfortable with the notion of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ when it comes to people’s sexual orientation, because it promotes the idea that people should be allowed to hold archaic prejudices, and that the responsibility lies with the gay person not to offend anyone with their sexuality. It’s something that hopefully will be broken down as time goes on, and we see an increase in globalisation. But for now, I think in F1, for a driver to be openly gay would genuinely cause problems. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was already at least one gay driver on the grid, but while we still live in a world where bigotry and intolerance are respected and tolerated, the chances of any driver being open about his homosexuality are very slim indeed.

    1. Sadly I think you’re right. For the teams, sponsors and any gay drivers out there it doesn’t make a lot of business sense to have an ‘out’ gay driver in such a sponsor driven, global sport.

    2. Particularly the Arab countries where a strong religious tradition dictates that homosexuality = bad.

      – when we take in account some people being upset with Red Bull putting a women on the podium for Middle East Bahrain, I am afraid you are only too right that it would be hard to accept in a lot of places @mazdachris

      But I do think that things are (slowly) changing, so lets hope that all of us will see the time when its no big deal what sex, or sexual orientation a driver is!

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